Kevin Reed Kelly, 67, passed away Monday, April 25th, 2022 at his home in Newman Lake, WA.
Kevin was born September 15th, 1954 in Rigby, ID to Heber and Ina Kelly. From a young age, he had a passion for vehicles. With the combination of bucking hay and $50 he purchased a ‘57 Chevy in high school. The car's engine was in pieces filling coffee cans on their basement floor. However, given Kevin's work ethic, he had it up and running in little time; quite loudly, as his sisters would recall. From that moment on, Kevin was a Chevrolet man. In 1972, he graduated high school from Inchelium, WA. His passion for cars and trucks led him to Spokane Community College where he earned a degree in diesel mechanics. While in college, Kevin could be found polishing his candy-apple red ‘68 Mustang almost daily until he sold it for a brand new Camaro. After college, he worked several mechanic jobs before beginning his career with Snyder’s Bakery (later became Franz). Kevin retired after 41 years of service to the bakery, a fact that illuminates both his dedication and commitment to his profession and family. He was a rock solid foundation for those he loved.
Kevin met his future bride, Laurie, in 1984 at Paradise Stables in Spokane where his parents were working and she was boarding her horse. They were married on April 9th, 1988. They welcomed their first child, Justin Reed, while living in Greenacres. After the birth of their second child, Whitney, they quickly learned that they needed more room. In late 1990, Kevin and Laurie moved into their Newman Lake home.
Kevin was a horseman. He grew up on small family ranch and tried his hand at riding bareback horses and bulls before attaining his dream of racing horses alongside his father. Together Kevin and Heber bonded over their love of horses. They spent hours each day at the track working and playing. Training and owning race horses helped develop Kevin’s amazing horsemanship skills; skills that he would eventually pass on to his children. When Justin and Whitney began attending school, his commitments changed. He had planned to get back into racing someday, but as his kids got older, the family moved into the world of rodeo.
Anyone who is familiar with rodeo knows friends quickly become family, and this meant Kevin had family everywhere he went. That was just his way of doing things. Along with being the Spokane Interstate Fair horse superintendent Kevin also held positions on numerous rodeo boards. He enjoyed being involved, helping out, and getting his hands dirty. He was a selfless man who would do anything for a stranger. Kevin had a heart of gold. On occasion, you would need to get past his grumpy personality to find the teddy bear he truly was. Kevin was adored by many. He had a kind, soft soul that was particularly evident to children. The children of his friends, his nieces and nephews, and grandchildren all recognized the teddy bear he was. Kevin loved to rile the children up which encouraged them to tease and taunt him in return, always making him chuckle.
Family meant the world to Kevin. He was always there for his kids. Kevin never missed a game, no matter how big or small. As a family, they drove countless miles to rodeos allowing their kids to follow their dreams. He would do anything for his family and friends. When someone broke down in the middle of the night, they called Kevin. When someone needed bailed out of jail, they called Kevin. His home was always open to those in need, especially those needing direction or stability.
Even into his final days Kevin kept his cars and pickups in tip-top condition, he enjoyed tending to horses for his daughter, and he was extremely proud of the life he and his wife had made together.
Kevin is survived by his wife, Laurie; his daughter, Whitney (Colby) Reilly; his grandchildren, Lucchese, Kelleigh Reed and Caysen; his sisters, Nancy (Layne) Howell, Susan (Wayne) Egner, and Kathy Kelly; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Kevin was preceded in death by his parents, Heber and Ina Kelly, his sister Sandra Nye, and his son Justin.
A church service will be held at the Spokane Baptist Church at 11:30am on Saturday, May 7th, 2022. 4506 N. Harvard Road Otis Orchards, WA 99027. Lunch will be provided after.
A private burial will take place in Pomeroy, Washington at the Holy Rosary Catholic Cemetery.
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